François Boucher: Sleeping Shepherd (Circa 1750)
"Whether that dream ever attracts a million bucks could never have been the point …"

Though a million bucks certainly ain't what it used to be, it remains a considerable chunk of change, and while I've never possessed that magnitude of personal wealth, I have been the beneficiary of several MillionDollarDreams. The absolute magic of a MillionDollarDream seems to be that it need not produce a million actual dollars to manifest its true purpose. Some who pursue their MillionDollarDreams do, indeed, attract significant financial gain, but even those whose pursuits never realize financial profit, still benefit enormously from their engagement, for a MillionDollarDream seems to impart a kind of gold plating to whomever maintains them. Each MillionDollarDream starts as a rather wild idea, one with perhaps no obvious chance of ever coming to any sort of actual fruition, like the notion that you and a few friends might, in a scant week's time, transform a dusty old barn into a successful summer stock theater and produce a hit show capable of launching everyone involved into stardom. The resulting flurry of activity might be best characterized as absolute parody, but for those involved, it likely becomes a peak life experience worth at least a million bucks. That's a MillionDollarDream!

My MillionDollarDreams were each capable of goading me into investing a million dollars into them, though I at no time ever held that kind of line of credit.
My investments were more of the opportunity kind, foregone income I might well have realized had I not pursued the dream. Had I taken a job on The Alaska Pipeline after graduating high school, as did several of my contemporaries, instead of insisting upon hitchhiking around playing my songs in coffeehouses and bars, I would have very likely made my first million by the time I turned twenty-five, but I also would have deprived myself and the world of someone who held a belief so strongly that it turned infectious. I was, for the duration, a genuine inspiration, and not only to myself. No, I was never discovered and never went on to attract the kind of wealth that might have afforded me the luxury of never doing anything else, but for the duration of that MillionDollarDream, I felt absolutely golden.

Dreams change. Sometimes, what starts as a sweet dream evolves into a living nightmare, and I suspect that there's very little anyone can ever do to avoid the possibility of that outcome, other than to try to stay awake to avoid dreaming. Sweet dreams seem worth the risk that they might turn on you, and even when they do, you're very likely to live through the resulting ordeal. Another MillionDollarDream might always lurk, requiring nothing more than a little applied passion and delusion to get itself started. They each hold the potential of becoming a divine obsession, and I insist that life never gets any better than this. Holding a MillionDollarDream feels like being in love, a genuine romance with living! It influences everything, even when it seems more struggle than it might ever be worth. It eventually requires more than anyone would initially willingly contribute, more than anyone ever imagines that they could spend over time. They almost always come true, though usually in unpredictable ways which require considerable patient acceptance to appreciate.

I deeply doubt that anything really worthwhile ever manifests without some of this MillionDollarDream magic associating with it. I think it tragic that some choose to hold out until the big payoff comes, withholding their significant contribution until some deep pocket connector coughs up considerable cash for it. This tactic tends to turn toward the frantic while the genus remains undiscovered, when it might have started appearing from the first moment the dreaming began. I've spent my time pining after discovery, though I eventually came to understand that I needed to discover myself first and that being discovered by anyone else probably paled in comparison to my own personal recognition. I learned that each of us represent the wealth of nations, that we each hold the unlikely power of creation, and that we owe it to ourselves and to everyone else to purse our passion, for that represents the dream coming true. Whether that dream ever attracts a million bucks could never have been the point, for that appears in the air you breathe when living within a MillionDollarDream.

©2020 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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